November 25, 2015

Journal of Gerontological Nursing - October 2015 vol 41 no. 10

 Full text articles are available to fee paying members of Alzheimer’s Australia NSW by emailing


Medication Management and e-Care Planning

Pages: 13-17

Effective communication and coordination of care is a priority strategy to improve health care quality in the United States. To address this strategy, care coordinators are being integrated into clinical practice settings and tasked with developing patient-centered care plans. One component of the care plan is the development of a medication list. This care plan medication list facilitates many medication management functions performed by pharmacists, such as identifying and resolving medication-related problems. Health information technology enables access to data to assist developing the medication list for the care plan and also provides routes to communicate the care plan with other health care providers, patients, and caregivers. The current article reviews the current landscape for promoting effective medication-related communication and care plan information.


CARES Dementia Care for Families

Pages: 18-24

Challenges to intervention use among family caregivers of individuals with dementia include availability and timing of delivery. The current study sought to determine whether an online, psychoeducational intervention for dementia family caregivers, CARES® Dementia Care for Families™ (CARES for Families), improved and enhanced dementia caregivers’ knowledge of person-centered care approaches. Forty-one family members completed pre- and posttest surveys that assessed improvement in dementia care knowledge, and multiple close- and open-ended items examined how the CARES for Families online modules benefited users at posttest. A paired t test demonstrated a significant and considerable increase in dementia care knowledge among family caregivers (p < 0.001); caregivers also indicated that CARES for Families’ content, flexibility, and use of actual family caregivers and individuals with dementia in video care vignettes were strengths. The findings suggest that CARES for Families can offer an efficient supplement to holistic dementia care that gerontological nurses provide.


Older Adults Engaging in Online Dating

Pages: 20-35

Many older adults maintain interest in intimate partner relationships and actively seek dates. Online dating websites are gaining popularity as being a convenient way to link with potential dates, particularly for women and individuals who live in independent dwellings or rural areas. Several online dating websites market exclusively to individuals 50 and older. Although connecting with others via the internet can decrease social isolation, there are potential risks involved in online dating. Health care providers do not always assess dating and sexual health in the older adult population. Nurses are in a position to assess the dating relationships of older patients and can ask targeted questions to determine if patients are in a potentially risky relationship. A non-judgmental attitude and compassionate approach is essential. Knowledge of safe practices, alerting red flags, and available resources are essential tools for gerontological nurses to possess.


Institutionalizing Clinical Reasoning

Pages:  38-44

Delirium is a common disorder among hospitalized older adults often leading to prolonged hospitalization, increased health care costs, and sometimes death. The goal of the current study was to construct a grounded theory that explains the clinical reasoning processes that RNs use to recognize delirium in older adults in acute care settings. Seventeen participants in three hospitals were interviewed. The core category that emerged from the data was institutionalizing clinical reasoning. Findings from the current study can be a starting point for RNs to bring self-awareness to variables that influence their reasoning processes.


Using a Robotic Cat in Dementia Care

Pages: 46-56

The current study aimed to explore (a) reactions of individuals with dementia to an interactive robotic cat and their relatives’ and professional caregivers’ experiences, and (b) to measure usability in developing the care/treatment of individuals with dementia using interactive robotic pets. An intervention design in a pilot study using mixed methods was conducted in two stages: a quantitative single-case study (n = 4) and a qualitative interview study (n = 14). Results indicated less agitated behavior and better quality of life for individuals with dementia. Interviews showed positive effects by providing increased interaction, communication, stimulation, relaxation, peace, and comfort to individuals with dementia. The tested interactive robotic cat was also considered easy to use. There is an increased need for alternative/complementary forms of care to meet an increasing number of individuals with dementia. For some individuals with dementia, an interactive robot, such as a robotic cat, can increase well-being and quality of life.

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